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The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner

The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner

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The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner

3.5/5 (3 valutazioni)
351 pagine
5 ore
May 26, 2009


An astronomical gastronomical undertaking —one of the world's preeminent restaurant critics takes on the giants of haute cuisine, one tasting menu at a time

Like the luxury fashion companies Gucci and Chanel, high-end dining has gone global, and Jay Rayner has watched, amazed, as the great names of the restaurant business have turned themselves from artisans into international brands.

Long suspecting that his job was too good to be true, Rayner uses his entrée into this world to probe the larger issues behind the globalization of dinner. Combining memoir with vivid scenes at the table; interviews with the world's most renowned chefs, restaurateurs, and eaters; and a few well-placed rants and raves about life as a paid gourmand, Rayner puts his thoughtful, innovative, and hilarious stamp on food writing. He reports on high-end gastronomy from Vegas to Dubai, Moscow to Tokyo, London to New York, ending in Paris where he attempts to do with Michelin-starred restaurants what Morgan Spurlock did with McDonald's in Super Size Me—eating at those establishments on consecutive days and never refusing a sixteen-course tasting menu when it's offered.

The Man Who Ate the World is a fascinating and riotous look at the business and pleasure of fine dining.

May 26, 2009

Informazioni sull'autore

Jay Rayner is the restaurant critic for the London Observer, a regular contributor to Gourmet, and has written for both Saveur and Food & Wine in the United States. He has also written novels, most recently The Oyster House Siege. Rayner began his acclaimed journalism career covering crime, politics, cinema, and theater, winning Young Journalist of the Year in 1991 and Critic of the Year in 2006 at the British Press Awards.

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The Man Who Ate the World - Jay Rayner




The first time I visited Las Vegas it was to interview a man who was famous because his wife had cut off his penis. It says much for the shape of my career back in the midnineties that I regarded the assignment as light relief. For the previous week I had been in Toronto investigating a particularly grisly set of murders. A young, middle-class couple—all white teeth and glossy hair—had dragged young women to their pastel-colored house down by Lake Ontario, videoed each other sexually assaulting them, then chopped up their bodies and set them in concrete.

The court cases were still ongoing when I visited Canada in February of 1995 to report the story and, because the accused were being tried separately, there was a lockdown on the reporting of the details until both trials were concluded. Nobody in Canada was meant to know anything about what had been dubbed the Ken and Barbie murders and, if they did know anything, they certainly weren’t meant to talk to reporters like me about it. This forced silence only added to my gloom. Everywhere I went the ground was crusted with ice. Snow blew against my cheeks like so much grit on the wind, and in a restaurant in the city’s theater district I acquired food poisoning courtesy of some spareribs, which hadn’t been particularly good on the way down and were much worse on the way up. I couldn’t wait to escape Canada for the sudden sunshine and warmth of Vegas, even if it was to interview a wife beater called John Wayne Bobbitt, who had achieved notoriety only because, one muggy summer’s night, he and his penis had managed to arrive at the hospital in different vehicles.

Bobbitt had gone to Vegas in search of an honest man to manage his career, because he felt he had been deceived by his previous manager. While it might seem odd that anybody should go to Vegas—a place long famous for its store of shysters, con men, and career hoods—in search of honesty, it was no more peculiar than that Bobbitt should have been in need of a manager at all. By then he had parlayed the knife attack on him by his then-wife Lorena into a thriving career. On my first full day in the city, enthroned at the huge black glass pyramid that is the Luxor Hotel at the north end of The Strip, I got to witness that career for myself. Bobbitt had starred in a video called John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut, which was, depending on your taste for euphemism, either an adult movie or a desperate skin

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    If you are looking for a book about adventure and the great food along the way....skip this book. That is not to say that this book is without merit. It is very entertaining. Mr. Rayner gives the background of many of the restaurants and chefs that he writes about. He also gives a little history of the area in which he is traveling. He has some great meals, and plenty of not so great ones. Enjoyable, but not for everyone.
  • (3/5)
    I did enjoy this book, the writing is witty, and descriptive, without being excessive in any way. I was also dissapointed, as was the author, I think. The good meals were so very rare, and though the writing about the bad meals was stellar, I was looking forward to diving into a gastronomic delight, to experience these meals vicariously, and it just wasn't there.
  • (4/5)
    Never quite sure if this is just ghoulish gastro-porn or whether it's trying to make a serious point about gastro-globalisation. Nonetheless the author is a punchy wordsmith, although no idea why he thought visiting Moscow would be a gastronomically rewarding experience. Would be interesting to see if pictures would season the narrative, or take away from the magical writing.